What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell or taste radon but it may be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Annually, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between 5,000 and 30,000 of the lung cancer deaths by Americans are attributable to indoor exposure to radon. Because of this number, a “high” cancer risk ranking has been assigned to indoor radon. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has elevated radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is even greater.
American Heritage Dictionary Defines Radon as:
ra•don n. Symbol Rn A colorless, radioactive, inert gaseous element formed by the radioactive decay of radium. It is used as a radiation source in radiotherapy and to produce neutrons for research. Its most stable isotope is Rn 222 with a half-life of 3.82 days. Atomic number 86; melting point -71°C; boiling point -61.8°C; specific gravity (solid) 4.
Radon Scientific Description:
Radon is a colorless, chemically nonreactive inert gas, it is the densest gas known. The gas and its highly radioactive (radioactivity described) metallic daughter products emit alpha and beta particles and gamma rays. It has been used in the treatment of cancer by radiotherapy. In homes and other buildings, in some areas of the world, radon produced by the radioactive decay of uranium-238 present in soil and rock can reach levels regarded as dangerous. (Chemical Symbol/Element Number: Rn222)